The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 years. While young children often have milder illness than adults, outbreaks in this age group are common, can disrupt home and family life, and can lead to spread in the general community, including those at high risk of severe disease.
“The approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for pediatric patients further bolsters our efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 and continue to put an end to this pandemic,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “As a pediatrician and parent, I trust the science. This is an exciting opportunity to vaccinate our younger population and protect not only our children but also our loved ones and those with whom they have contact.”
Parents seeking the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for their child should visit vaccines.gov for availability. When making an appointment, parents of individuals under the age of 18 should select a Pfizer vaccine appointment time. Parents can also call their local health department to check availability and schedule an appointment.
For more information regarding vaccine recommendations for children and guidelines from the CDC, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/children-teens.html.
Appointments are encouraged but not required. Booster vaccines are also widely available from pharmacies, medical clinics, and other sites.
More information on the CDC’s recommendation for a booster dose is available online.
Local health departments across the state will be administering the booster dose. Information on appointment availability can be found at https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/availability/. Appointments are not required. The Federal Pharmacy Partnership (FPP) for Long-Term Care (LTC) Program is facilitating on-site vaccination for residents in long-term care facilities. Additional vaccine providers offering the Pfizer vaccine can be found by visiting http://www.vaccines.gov. Patients do not need to prove their diagnosis or health condition to be eligible for the booster dose.It’s not too late to get vaccinated. Visit vaccine.gov to see your local Health Department’s most up to date COVID-19 vaccine availability.
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Tennessee Department of Health South Central Regional Coronavirus information line: 931-490-8312, Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Text message systemThe South Central Regional Health Office of Tennessee Department of Health has launched a text message COVID-19 case investigation system in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Health.
South Central residents who test positive for COVID-19 through a reportable testing mechanism (PCR or antigen testing) may receive a text-message from the South Central Regional Health Office asking them to complete their case investigation online.
Individuals who have been tested in Bedford, Coffee, Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Moore, Perry, and Wayne counties should expect to see this change.
While traditional phone interviews for contact tracing will continue, the text message outreach will accelerate the case investigation process and help provide critical isolation and mitigation resources in an expedited manner.
The survey will also uncover who may have been exposed, so that contact tracers can follow up with those individuals to advise them of the exposure, what symptoms they need to watch for, when to get tested, and how to avoid infecting others. “If you receive a text, we urge you to respond and complete your case investigation information,” said South Central Regional Director Ami Mitchell. “Please do your part to contain the spread of COVID-19 and help our community.”
Bedford County Health Department offers COVID-19 testing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at its offices at 140 Dover Street. For testing, enter from the right side of the building. If you have questions, call 931-684-3426. The health department is a state agency, a division of Tennessee Department of Health.